Waverly-Shell Rock's 6-foot-5, 240-pound junior defensive end has the potential to be one of the state's top 2019 recruits. Dargan Southard / Iowa City Press-Citizen
This has already been a big offseason for in-state defensive end Mosai Newsom, and it could get even bigger this summer.
The three-star Waverly-Shell Rock product ended his junior year with offers from Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. He now holds offers from Northwestern and Nebraska, plus interest from Notre Dame, Stanford, Air Force, Vanderbilt and Yale.
"He’s receiving new interest every day," W-SR head coach Mark Hubbard said.
Newsom is a priority 2019 target for the Hawkeyes. He said he plans to wait until next fall to make a decision. That way, he can take game-day visits if he needs to split hairs at the end.
"I just want to make sure I have the right fit," he told the Register on Wednesday. "I don't want to be changing my decision. My parents always say, 'You’ll know when you know.'"
Newsom, who checks in at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds right now, entered this season as a Division I prospect based purely on potential. He’d logged only six tackles and one solo sack as a sophomore.
But those stats, combined with his huge frame, multi-sport athleticism, sprinter speed and explosive hips, were still enough to earn him early offers from South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.
Now, he’s a much more well-known prospect in the Midwest.
He was named to 247Sports’ First Team after showing out at the prestigious U.S. Army National Combine in January. That came after he amassed 38.5 tackles, seven solo tackles for loss and three sacks through constant double-teams as a junior.
There's much more to come this offseason, too.
- He just wrapped up basketball with W-SR, and now he's running and throwing for the track team.
- He will also play AAU basketball with Beyond Ball this spring and summer.
- He has been invited to participate in the Rivals 3-Stripe Camp Series, Under Armour All-America Camp Series and the Nike Opening regional.
- And he plans to attend some college camps this summer. At the top of that list would be Stanford, who has sent him multiple camp invites.
The 247Sports Composite and Rivals both give Newsom three stars. The composite ranks him Iowa’s No. 4 prospect in 2019, and Rivals ranks him No. 5 in the state.
It’s likely Newsom receives more offers this summer.
And it’s not out of the question he cracks the state’s top three.
"That’s not really my focus," he said. "It’s cool. But I just want to play football. I just love to play football."
Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern constitute Newsom’s main recruiting focus right now. He was just in Iowa City last Saturday for spring practice, and he’s been on campus at all four schools within the past couple months. Newsom is a high-achieving student at W-SR, and academics will factor heavily in his decision. (Notice how all his new interest is from prestigious academic schools?)
Here’s how each of those four schools projects Newsom, and how he feels about each program:
The Hawkeyes want to start Newsom off at defensive end. Then, depending on how his body develops, maybe move him inside to defensive tackle.
"It’s awesome," Newsom said of his relationship with Iowa. "Coach (Reese) Morgan and coach (Kelvin) Bell, that’s a great pair of D-line coaches. It’s the in-state school. I love being on campus, I love being there. I know a lot of the other recruits now, just because I’ve been there and I’ve played sports against them. (Strength) coach (Chris) Doyle — he knows what he’s doing, for sure."
Iowa offered Newsom last July.
The Huskers run a 3-4 defense — the same scheme Newsom plays in high school. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander, who came with Scott Frost to Nebraska from UCF, has been leading the recruitment, and Newsom likes how Chinander sees him fitting in the defense.
"I mean, watching UCF play, they play fast," Newsom said. "It looks like they have a ton of fun."
On his relationship with Nebraska, Newsom said: "We went to Nebraska on the Tuesday of our spring break, which was three weeks ago. We got there and all the coaches were waiting for us, which was awesome. We met all the coaches — my whole family was with me. Got a tour of the facilities and talked with each of the coaches individually. It was a great time. I had a lot of fun meeting them. I love what they're doing, their philosophies."
Nebraska offered Newsom on Feb. 24.
The Wildcats see Newsom as a three-technique defensive lineman, lining up on the outside shoulder of the offensive guard. Assistant defensive line coach Marty Long has spearheaded the recruitment.
"Being just outside of Chicago, it’s really cool," Newsom said. "The academic side of things is super important to me, and that’s just really cool to have that there. (Head) coach (Pat) Fitzgerald, they also play very fast. Their practice was very fast, and I also loved how that was run. That new facility that they're building is going to be amazing. Their coaches are really good people."
Northwestern offered Newsom on March 3.
The Gophers run a defense with a rushing end on one side and a five-technique lineman on the other side, lining up on the opposite shoulder of the offensive tackle. Newsom said they project him as the five-tech lineman. Defensive line coach Maurice West has led Minnesota’s recruitment of Newsom.
"Minnesota — it’s elite," Newsom said. "It’s also awesome. (Head) coach (P.J.) Fleck, he’s doing a great job. He knows what he’s doing, for sure. High energy. I went to the practice there, and their practice was very up-tempo, very fast, and I loved watching it."
Minnesota was Newsom's first FBS-level D-I offer last June.
Newsom said he has no additional spring visits planned at this time.
Matthew Bain covers college football and basketball recruiting for the Des Moines Register. He also helps out with Iowa and Iowa State football and basketball coverage for HawkCentral and Cyclone Insider. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.